Under the Bed and On the Market

Note from the Eldercare Underground: 

     Muscle relaxants and real estate deals edition

Well, it’s been an interesting week. 

Last Sunday my daughter phoned and said that she’d been to visit my mother at The Hotel (retirement center) and found that my mother had fallen again the day before. 

Only this time she’d somehow managed to land partly underneath her bed.

She told my daughter that she was okay—just some rug burn on her elbow and was only a little skeevy in the mid-back area.  But my daughter thought (correctly) that I should know about it, so I went over to see what was going on.

When I got there I got the same story from my mother and the same reassurances that everything was fine.  No problemo, not to worry.  She said the nurses had checked her out and didn’t find anything broken or out of whack, so I figured everything was under control.

On Thursday I stopped by around 1:00 and found my mother changing her clothes.  She said they’d made a doctor’s appointment for her for 2:00 and she needed to get ready.  Nobody had phoned me about it so I asked the manager what was up and she said my mother had been complaining about back pain and had only sporadically been coming to the dining room for her meals. 

I’m glad I just happened to be there because sending my mother off to a doctor’s appointment under her own recognizance would be like electing Michele Bachmann president—in other words, a disaster.

So I went with her and the doctor thought her back pain was mainly from muscle spasms, so she prescribed a “non-sedative” muscle relaxant, to be given twice a day as needed and authorized a request for the physical therapist to do an evaluation.

I phoned today and the manager, Sandy, said that my mother was still having her breakfasts in her room, but she was going to try to get her to move around more and come to the dining room for her other meals. 

The jury is still out on that for the time being, so we’ll have to see.

And today, I listed her home of the last twelve years for sale.

My husband had the Herculean task of cleaning the place up to get it ready, and I have to give him kudos for a job well done. 

My mother wouldn’t let us do much (if any) cleaning for her and consequently the place, especially the kitchen, had well-worn paths of grime and sticky, bacony (if there is such a word related to bacon grease) surfaces that resisted industrial strength cleaners.  The stove and range in her kitchen ended up in the metal recycling bin at the landfill, so you can just imagine.

But he prevailed and you can see the results in the photos below.  Most of her furniture either has gone to immediate family members or was taken over to her new digs at The Hotel, so the place is a bit sparse but still pretty attractive since it reflects a lot of the charm of the 1910 era home that it is.

Click to enlarge and you can see the dents in the roof from the softball-size hail storm circa 1948.

(Click to enlarge) The Van Gogh "Sunflowers" on the wall is crewel needlework that I did for my mother for Christmas 1970. (No way would I have the patience to do that now.)

(Click to enlarge) The two oil paintings here in the kitchen were done by talented friends of my mother's.

(Click to enlarge) The oil painting on the left is one my mother did and the watercolor on the right (kind of obscured by the reflection) is one I did of my parents' last home together in Laguna Beach, CA.

14 thoughts on “Under the Bed and On the Market

  1. My gosh — I hope you Mother is doing much better by now!! Good thoughts being sent to her, as well as for you and your ‘Herculean’ Husband. :o)

    That is a very nice-looking home he ‘got after’, and it looks great. We all would be so lucky to have such a man around to help out once in a while. LOL

    Good luck on getting the home sold, with more and LOTS of good luck for your Mother. ♥ Ya’ll have a wonderful weekend.


  2. I haven’t been by for a while….I think I have missed some happenings. I can so relate to your “underground” tales. They are so often similar to my stories-we can be part of a support group.
    I love that little house. I would buy it! Great job on getting it cleaned up.
    Good luck with the sale, too.


  3. Where is your mom’s house? Looks like somewhere I would like to retire to.
    Who’s the agent?
    My mom started falling a lot too when I moved her into the assisted living. It’s such a hard time for her and for you. There is a lot of denial on their part.
    I feel for you both.


  4. Sorry to read about your mother falling down. It is never a good thing at that age. Your husband did a lovely job in spiffing up her residence. I love the front door treatment. Doors have always fascinated me.


  5. that is an absolutely gorgeous home! suspect you have a few ‘before’ pictures, and i am quite familiar with what those would look like. selling her home is a big transition… glad that the process is going well…


  6. You really have mastered the art of telling a very depressing story with a stiff upper lip that’s so admirable. As your other commenters have noted, your husband has done a terrific job preparing her home for sale. It looks beautiful. Psychologically, none of this can be easy on anyone. I don’t know what you’re doing to get through it, but I’m glad I drink.


  7. I love love love that little house..
    the fall..oh man, the dreaded fall..keep an eye on her..very close..and if she starts milking the staying in bed..encourage her to get out.even if it’s only for a while..sometimes it’s easier to stay in bed then it is then to get back to it..


  8. Cute house! It’ll sell and the state will take it all. Hang in there Kiddo.

    There’s a local singing group here, The Young @ Heart Chorus. You have to be 75 or older to even audition. They travel the world and have at least one CD out there. We see them here in Northampton, MA., but last saw them in New Zealand where they rocked the house. They sing, among many other things, “Can’t Get No (Satisfaction), “May You Stay, Forever Young”, and “We’re On The Road To Nowhere”. G**gle them and have some fun and picture your Mom singing with them.

    It’s not such a steep and slippery slope that you are on with your Mom but it might be a long one. I know that you are doing the best you can with love and humor and grace. Keep in mind, those three things, love, humor, and grace, are all you can bring most of the time.

    Your Mom has her trials and needs and they are working on those things. Ask/tell the care manager to be in contact with you about any appointments and if you can attend, go to them with care, concern, love, humor, and grace.

    Keep in mind that you are a special one, a keeper, in anybody’s book. I hope to do as well for my Mom when the time comes, and it will come in the next number of years.

    Hugs to you from here.


  9. Oh, I LOVE that house!! Love it and you did a beautiful job getting it ready for sale. Kudos to hubby indeed! It has beautiful curb appeal.

    SOunds like you’re on a tough road, and I see similar things happening in the near future with my mother-in-law. All the falling, augh! Have a hug.


  10. What a delightful home!! I love the tin roof! You’ll have to fight off the lookers and buyers, but the REAL fight will be fighting off the women wanting to hire your husband to de-bacon and degrease their abodes. (Any chance he wants to come to NC for a few days with his cleaning supplies?)

    Bed rails, maybe?

    Good luck to you and good balance to your mother!


  11. The house is very nice. Should sell easily. You should have posted some before and after pictures…I take them all the time. We are still struggling with the bacony surfaces in the house we recently rented.

    I love your reference to Michelle Bachman. Too funny.


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